The young Middlesboro Lady Jackets put up a pretty good fight against 13th Region contender Whitley County Tuesday, but the Lady Colonels just had too much fire power and took the match 25-9, 25-16, 25-15.
Brandi Smith and Jordin Huddleston had six kills apiece to lead Whitley County and Taylor Dingess added four. Kelsey Osborne was a difference-maker serving the ball, she accounted for 21 of the Lady Colonels 46 service points in the match.
Middlesboro was led by sophomore Karrah Hart with six kills while senior Carissa Padgett and freshman Anajae Stephney added four each. Hart also topped the Lady Jackets with six service points in the match. Lauren Padgett chipped in with four service points off the bench and senior Lauren Schndeider added three.
Osborne got Whitley off to a fast start with her blistering overhand serve. She opened the first set with ten straight points, including three serves the Lady Jackets weren’t able to return and a kill from Smith.
Stephney stopped the opening run with a kill of her own, but the Lady Colonel lead grew to 14-2 after kills from Huddleston and Osborne.
Charlesa Witherspoon provided a kill for the Lady Jackets and Hart delivered three service points, but Middlesboro would draw no closer than 14-6 in the first set. It was 21-9 when Osborne’s turn to serve came back around and she closed it out with four straight points. Smith, Dingess had kills during the final rally.
Middlesboro hung tougher in the second set as Stephney won a point at the net and Hart delivered a kill with Brittney Letendre serving to tie the score at 6. A kill from Hart a few points later has the Lady Jackets within 8-7, but Briana Maynes answered with a strong kill from the left sideline and then reeled off six straight services points to put Whitley up 15-7.
Letendre won a point with a hard dig off a Whitley serve that fell in, Hart had two service points and Adreana Lefevers one to cut the deficit to 15-11. Huddleston won consecutive points for the Lady Colonels, the second after a very long rally, and a Miller serve stretched the lead back out to 18-11.
The teams traded points the rest of the way with Alexa Chaffman earning set-point with a spike that went out off a Middlesboro player as Whitley took the set 25-16.
The third set saw the Lady Jackets again keep things close for a while. Schneider won a point at the net and Hart scored when her hard bump went out of a Whitley player. A pair of service points from Lauren Padgett put the Lady Jackets up 6-5.
It was 8-8 when Jenniann Lawson came on to serve for the Lady Colonels and delivered three straight points, including an ace after her serve clipped the net and fell in short. Four more service points from Osborne put Whitley in control at 16-9 and they went to take the set 25-15.
Both team return to action Thursday with Middlesboro (0-14) at Clay County and Whitley County (18-5) hosting Jellico, Tenn.